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Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

Palo Alto

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati - Palo Alto
  • 650 Page Mill Road
  • Palo Alto
  • California
  • USA
  • CA 94304-1050
  • Tel:+1 650 493 9300
  • Fax:+1 650 493 6811
  • Email:Contact Us
  • Web:Visit website
  • Chairman: Larry W Sonsini
  • Managing Partners: Douglas Clark, John T Sheridan
  • Number of partners: 188
  • Number of attorneys: 600

Firm Overview: Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati is the premier provider of legal services to technology, life sciences, and growth enterprises worldwide, as well as the financial institutions that invest in them. The firm advises and represents clients in a vast array of industries at all stages of development, from venture-backed start-ups to multibilliondollar global corporations.Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati is nationally recognized as a leader in the fields of corporate governance and finance, mergers and acquisitions, private equity, securities litigation, employment law, intellectual property and antitrust, among many other areas of law. Over the past five decades, the firm has established its reputation by having a superior knowledge of its clients’ industries, as well as deep and longstanding contacts throughout the technology sector.

Main Areas of Practice: Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati’s main areas of practice include: corporate law and governance; corporate finance – private equity, public equity and debt finance; mergers and acquisitions; litigation – securities litigation, intellectual property litigation, merger and acquisition litigation, business litigation and counseling,white-collar crime and government investigations, employment law and appeals; intellectual property counseling and transactions – technology transactions, trade secret and employee mobility, intellectual property counseling and patents, global outsourcing transactions, trademarks, consumer regulatory and privacy, copyrights, and advertising; antitrust counseling and litigation; employee benefits and compensation; global generics; export controls and economic sanctions; energy and clean technology; privacy and data security; national security; project development and finance; real estate and environmental; and tax.

International Work: With roots in Silicon Valley and offices in technology hubs throughout the US, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati long has had a national presence with a global reach. In addition, to better serve its clients overseas, the firm opened its first international office, in Shanghai,China, in 2007, and a second international office, in Hong Kong, in 2010. In October 2011, the firm opened its first European office in Brussels, Belgium, and in December 2012 added an office in Beijing. Over the past five decades, the firm has developed a wide-ranging international practice,with particular strength in Asia, Europe, and North America. Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati represents both US and foreign clients in a variety of international matters including: cross-border mergers and acquisition transactions, joint ventures, foreign investment, branch operations, intellectual property, and litigation.

Clients: Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati’s client base includes: communications and networking, electronics/computer hardware, information services, life sciences and medical devices, media and entertainment, retail and consumer products and services, semiconductors, software, energy technology, and venture capital and financial institutions.

INTERNATIONAL OFFICES The firm also has offices in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Beijing and Brussels.


  • 650 Page Mill Road,
  • Palo Alto,
  • California
  • USA
  • CA 94304-1050
  • Tel +1 650 493 9300
  • Fax +1 650 493 6811
  • Email : wsgr@wsgr.com
  • Website : www.wsgr.com
  • 12235 El Camino Real,
  • Suite 200,
  • San Diego,
  • California
  • USA
  • CA 92130-3002
  • Tel +1 838 350 2300
  • Fax +1 858 350 2399
  • Email : sandiego@wsgr.com
  • One Market Street,
  • Spear Tower,
  • Suite 3300,
  • San Francisco,
  • California
  • USA
  • CA 94105-1126
  • Tel +1 415 947 2000
  • Fax +1 415 947 2099
  • Email : sanfrancisco@wsgr.com
  • Eight West Laurel Street,
  • DE 19947-1424,
  • Georgetown,
  • Delaware
  • USA
  • Tel +1 302 856 4235
  • Fax +1 866 974 7329
  • 1700 K Street, NW,
  • Fifth Floor,
  • Washington, DC,
  • District of Columbia
  • USA
  • 20006-3817
  • Tel +1 202 973 8800
  • Fax +1 202 973 8899
  • Email : washingtondc@wsgr.com
  • 1301 Avenue of the Americas,
  • 40th Floor,
  • New York,
  • USA
  • NY 10019-6022
  • Tel +1 212 999 5800
  • Fax +1 212 999 5899
  • Email : newyorkcity@wsgr.com
  • 900 South Capital of Texas Highway,
  • Las Cimas IV, Fifth Floor,
  • Austin,
  • Texas
  • USA
  • TX 78746-5546
  • Tel +1 512 338 5400
  • Fax +1 512 338 5499
  • Email : austin@wsgr.com
  • 701 Fifth Avenue,
  • Suite 5100,
  • Seattle,
  • Washington
  • USA
  • WA 98104-7036
  • Tel +1 206 883 2500
  • Fax +1 206 883 2699
  • Email : seattle@wsgr.com

Capital Markets - California

THE FIRM This team excels at advising issuers, underwriters and sellers in a range of equity and debt transactions, with an impressive presence in the technology sector. Its underwriter clients include big names like JPMorgan Securities and it frequently advises growing corporates on IPOs including recently advising Jive Software on its $161.3 million IPO. 

Sources say: "They really know the drill and work very well as a team."

KEY INDIVIDUALS The "highly talented" John Fore is head of the corporate finance practice. He is well known in the market for his representation of technology companies in debt transactions and recently represented Micron in its $1 billion convertible senior notes offering.

Jeff Saper is "hands-on" and does "outstanding work," impressed sources note. His recent highlights include representing Splunk in its $229.5 million IPO.

Katharine Martin advised LinkedIn on its $621.5 million follow-on offering. Sources particularly recommend her expertise in 1934 Act matters.

Larry Sonsini is "a leading light in Silicon Valley," market sources say. He recently represented Tesla Motors in its $152 million follow-on offering.

Corporate/M&A - California

THE FIRM This respected Silicon Valley practice is one of the most successful firms operating in Northern California, and is regarded as a leader in the venture capital market statewide. Its illustrious client roster features such big names in technology as Google, Electronic Arts and LinkedIn, as well as a range of major Wall Street financial institutions. Recent highlights include acting on LinkedIn's $118 million acquisition of SlideShare, Taleo's $1.9 billion acquisition by Oracle and Electronic Arts' $750 million purchase of PopCap Games.

Sources say: "A tremendous Bay Area presence." "The firm keeps its clients' goals in mind when providing legal advice."

KEY INDIVIDUALS "A force of nature" in Silicon Valley, founding partner and firm chairman Larry Sonsini is widely regarded as a "highly effective" attorney and "a great lawyer and trusted business adviser" to a number of significant area companies. He recently represented Seagate in its acquisition of SAMSUNG's HDD operations.

Sources say vice chairman and "IPO head honcho" Jeff Saper is "really an impressive lawyer." He advised Splunk on its $229.5 million IPO, and recently acted alongside Ringler for The Go Daddy Group on a partnership agreement with Silver Lake Partners, KKR and Technology Crossover Ventures. 

Also held in very high esteem is the "solid" Steven Bochner, who stepped down as the firm's CEO in 2012 in order to focus on his practice. He recently represented MapR Technologies in a $20 million Series B financing, and acted for the underwriters on InvenSense's $75 million IPO.

"Semiconductor industry specialist" Bob Latta also maintains a fine practice, and recently handled Ubiquiti Networks' $105.6 million IPO. He is also well versed in cleantech, software and e-commerce.

Splitting his time between the firm's offices in Palo Alto and San Diego, growth technology expert Casey McGlynn is a highly respected attorney, particularly in life sciences. He is considered a market leader in medical devices transactional work, with sources saying: "He knows everyone in life sciences; he's very experienced."

San Diego partner Marty Waters is a "diligent, creative" lawyer. Sources say: "He knows what the rules of the game are and understands what the goals are and has a high level of interest in getting it right without browbeating the other side." Recent highlights include representing Concerro in its sale to API Healthcare. 

Marty Korman leads the firm's M&A practice and recently represented Electronic Arts in its $750 million acquisition of PopCap Games. He works out of the firm's San Francisco and Palo Alto offices.

Michael Ringler has a superb reputation in M&A work. Peers say he is straight-talking, highly intelligent and "focused on practical solutions."

Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation - California

THE FIRM This sizable group neatly complements the firm's corporate and transactional work in other departments. Although it advises a range of companies, the bulk of its clients are technology corporates, many of which are based in Silicon Valley. It handles both executive compensation and employee benefits matters, including equity compensation, employment and severance agreements and tax-qualified retirement plans. Recent clients include Cypress Semiconductor, Atmel and Coherent.

Sources say: "I am thoroughly satisfied and rate them highly across the board."

KEY INDIVIDUALS John Aguirre is widely regarded for his advice to technology, financial services and semiconductor companies, among others. He recently handled executive compensation and employee benefits planning for Applied Materials during its acquisition of Varian Semiconductor. "He is a very careful and practical lawyer, and also has very good business judgment," notes a source. 

The "very impressive" Roger Stern places particular emphasis on growth and startup companies. He recently represented Microchip Technology during its acquisition of Standard Microsystems, and handled the new executive compensation and employee benefits plans.

Intellectual Property - California

THE FIRM This multiservice firm has Palo Alto, SoMa, San Francisco and San Diego offices servicing technology and life sciences clients including Pacific Biosciences, Amgen, Google and Broadcom. The team has transactional, counseling and litigation capabilities across patent, trademark, trade secret and copyright matters.

KEY INDIVIDUALS David Kramer is "an extraordinarily gifted attorney" specializing in copyright and internet matters. He recently acted for Dropbox in four trademark claims at the USPTO and in the district court in Texas. One client comments: "His litigation skills are as good as they come, but beyond that he understands our business and cares deeply about our success."

John Slafsky specializes in trademark, domain name, copyright and advertising matters. A "knowledgeable" attorney, he assists clients with trademark registration and enforcement, copyright clearance, IP licensing and the litigation of trademark, copyright and domain name disputes.

Edward Poplawski recently joined the firm from Sidley Austin and is described as "an outstanding lawyer" who "really knows what he's doing." He has experience in trademark, copyright and trade secret disputes, and is primarily focused on patent litigation. While at his previous firm, he represented eBay/PayPal in a patent infringement dispute relating to a point-of-sale payment system.   

IT & Outsourcing - California

THE FIRM This established firm remains a dominant player in the market with a large dedicated technology transactions practice. Its lawyers are best known for their mastery of strategic outsourcing transactions. Market commentators praise the breadth of practice that enables the firm to understand the needs of both emerging and mature businesses. The team represents clients from all corners of the technology industry, including the software, clean technology and digital media arenas. Examples of the team's stellar stable of clients include Google and TiVo.

Sources say: "Outstanding on all fronts."

KEY INDIVIDUALS A longstanding reputation for excellence sees Suzanne Bell remain at the top of her game. Leader of the firm's technology transactions and IT group, she focuses on substantial outsourcing deals and strategic transactions. Sources refer to her "deep, commercial experience," and note the benefit of her business sense: "She is tough enough to be very forceful at the right point in negotiations, but wise enough to know when to let issues go." Her recent clients include heavy hitters like Polycom and Google.

Peers attest to the wealth of experience Michael Murphy brings to the complex transactions he regularly handles. He offers highly respected expertise in licensing, intellectual property and technology partnering agreements to clients from a range of industries. He recently represented TiVo in a $500 million patent litigation settlement agreement.

Life Sciences - California

THE FIRM This multiservice firm has a highly regarded life sciences practice which spans its Palo Alto, San Diego, San Francisco and South of Market offices. The group represents clients in corporate transactions, partnership and licensing agreements, and various IP matters. The team is known for its experience in the venture capital arena, and represented Heartflow in its $75 million series C financing. Other clients include Amgen, Astellas Pharma, Bio-Rad and Pacific Biosciences.

Sources say: "Wilson is a huge competitor on the West Coast."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Kenneth Clark is a "superb" corporate attorney working primarily in the biotechnology field. He advises on strategic alliances, financings and technology transactions, and acted for KAI Pharmaceuticals on its $315 million acquisition by Amgen.

Casey McGlynn is a well-regarded figure in the California life sciences market and is well known for his representation of startup and growth technology companies. He represented Heartflow in its series C financing, and advised ForteBio on its acquisition by Pall Corporation. 

Vern Norviel advises life sciences companies and venture capital firms on patent and strategy matters, and is described as "an outstanding lawyer who has built a vibrant practice."

Ian Edvalson assists companies with IP and product-related transactions such as collaboration and development agreements, technology acquisitions and licensing. Highlights include representing Mylan in an exclusive strategic collaboration with Pfizer to develop, manufacture and commercialize generic products in Japan.

Litigation - California

THE FIRM Securities litigation is a central plank of this international firm's service. The firm has a pedigree bench to tackle securities class actions, derivative lawsuits and intricate accounting fraud matters. The team recently assisted Occam Networks with a high-profile merger case involving allegations of breaching fiduciary duty. The team has also represented major clients including Expedia, Netflix, McAfee and Hotwire.com in various complex litigation suits.

Sources say: "They are a solid firm with lawyers who handle work aggressively in a positive way."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Peers champion senior litigator Steven Schatz as one of the smartest practitioners in the market. With a federal prosecutorial background, he is highly sought for his advocacy skills. He has teamed up with Boris Feldman on various shareholder derivative matters on behalf of Hewlett-Packard. Peers have the "utmost respect" for Feldman, whose esteemed practice is dedicated to challenging securities litigation. He was the driving force successfully representing Stryker in a securities fraud class action.

A client applauds securities and commercial litigator Keith Eggleton as a "phenomenally capable lawyer with tremendously good instincts." He is noted for his focus on advising clients from the technology sector.

Nina Locker is an experienced securities practitioner and draws praise for her skills in handling shareholder class actions, internal investigations relating to stock options, and insider trading disputes. She and Schatz recently represented Strayer Education in successfully achieving dismissal of a case involving allegations of improper recruitment practices.

Tax - California

THE FIRM This tax team provides support to the firm's thriving M&A practice, assisting with domestic and international transactions, including public and private acquisitions, corporate restructurings and joint ventures. The three-lawyer group is highly sought by technology companies of the stamp of Kodak, Google and SolarCity.

Sources say: "I value their completeness, which is demonstrated by their knowledgeable stance and strong research background."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Ivan Humphreys enjoys a solid reputation in the tax community and specializes in the formation of partnerships and limited liability companies, acquisitions, disposals, spin-offs, restructurings and financings.

Satisfied sources praise Jonathan Zhu as a lawyer "able to discuss any matter with ease and immediately provide potential solutions." His strong base of knowledge on all matters concerning international taxation also garners praise.

Antitrust - District of Columbia

THE FIRM This group is building an imposing presence on the East Coast with an impressive Washington, DC office to go alongside its growing New York offering. The team is particularly noted for its expertise in the technology arena, and regularly represents Google in a variety of matters, including the FTC investigation into its search practices.

Sources say: "They have built quite an impressive practice in quite a short amount of time."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Susan Creighton couples "deep experience with the agencies" with her skills as a "phenomenal thinker and writer and very good oral advocate." Along with Scott Sher, she regularly represents Google and has recently acted for it in the FTC investigation mentioned above.

Scott Sher brings an "active and energetic approach" to his practice and is described by sources as "one of the leading younger antitrust lawyers in the country." In addition to his notable work for Google, he also acted for Seagate Technology on its much-scrutinized $1.375 billion acquisition of the hard drive arm of Samsung Electronics.

Mark Rosman is noted for his budding criminal cartel practice. He was part of the team representing Universal Surveillance Systems in relation to an alleged monopolization case brought against Checkpoint Solutions.

Antitrust - Nationwide

THE FIRM This team is increasingly establishing itself as a well-regarded firm for antitrust litigation, and has particular expertise in the technology arena. With two strong offices in New York and Washington, DC as well as maintaining a presence in California, it can certainly boast nationwide scope. Its biggest client is Google, which it has acted for on a number of matters, including the government investigation into its search behavior and advertising. Other clients include T-Mobile, which it represented in several acquisitions.

Sources say: "I really love their work – they are fantastic, responsive and easy to work with."

KEY INDIVIDUALS The practice group is co-chaired by two of Wilson Sonsini's most prominent antitrust lawyers, Susan Creighton in Washington, DC and Jonathan Jacobson in New York.

Capital Markets - Nationwide

THE FIRM This team maintains its strong profile for representing corporates and investment banks on the full range of transactions, with a notable presence in the technology sector. Highlights include advising Palo Alto Networks, WageWorks and Splunk on IPOs. Other clients include Fusion-io, LinkedIn and Micron Technology.

Sources say: "They have a good market presence and are fine lawyers."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Jeff Saper "commands the respect of boards of directors and provides sensible, practical advice," enthusiastic clients say. He recently represented Guideware Software in its $260 million follow-on offering.

Corporate/M&A - Nationwide

THE FIRM Originating in Palo Alto, this West Coast stalwart has successfully gained recognition as a driving force in nationwide M&A, ably competing against some of the most established East Coast firms in the market. The technology industry continues to be a key area of concentration for this vibrant practice, with names such as Electronic Arts, LinkedIn and Zipmark appearing on its illustrious client roster. Its lawyers represented Bank of America as financial adviser on several transactions recently, including the $1.3 billion merger of Ardea Biosciences with AstraZeneca.  

Sources say: "They're very oriented to practicality; they don't really get hung up on a lot of arcane lawyer points and can see the bigger picture." "Strengths are their knowledge of the subject matter; they're experts."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Co-managing partner of the firm Jack Sheridan is based out of the firm's Palo Alto office.  

Investment Funds - Nationwide

THE FIRM This practice continues to go from strength to strength, spanning an impressive range of industry sectors in its work, including energy, media and entertainment and information services. It has attracted the business of some of the most active and innovative players in the venture capital market, including Accel Partners, Apptio and GreenVolts. Numerous venture financings have kept the team occupied of late, and it has also provided nuanced investment advice to venture capital and private equity firms.    

Commercial Awareness "They have an exceptional network and grasp of what is happening in the market."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Jeff Saper is lauded for his strong expertise and experience in the space. His practice spans the representation of emerging growth companies, investment banks and corporate issuers in domestic and cross-border matters.  

Steven Bochner offers huge depth of experience in the venture capital world, and has acted as counsel on a multitude of IPOs, merger transactions and financings for virtually every type of stakeholder in the market.

Larry Sonsini is a well-recognized figure in the industry. He is the chairman of the firm, and has a global reputation for his work on significant M&A and IPO transactions.

Michael Danaher is praised for the level of service he has provided to his technology client base. He recently assisted Shocking Technologies on its $10.5 million Series C financing.

Robert O'Connor "is willing to be helpful and provide active introductions for companies," comment clients. He is particularly praised for his experience in the cleantech arena.

Life Sciences - Nationwide

THE FIRM Wilson Sonsini has a particularly strong presence in the California market and the team is known for corporate and transactional work, and particularly for its experience in venture capital investments and in representing early-stage biotechnology clients. Recent highlights include advising Fluidigm on its $60 million underwritten offering, and acting for KAI Pharmaceuticals on its licensing agreement and collaboration with Ono Pharmaceuticals.

KEY INDIVIDUALS Kenneth Clark is a highly regarded corporate attorney focused on strategic alliances, financing and technology transactions. Sources commend him as being "practical and in tune with his clients' interests." He also acts as general counsel to biotechnology companies and their boards of directors.

Casey McGlynn is known for his representation of startup and emerging growth life sciences companies. He assists clients with finding investors and corporate partners, as well as representing companies in IPOs and secondary offerings.

Projects - Nationwide

THE FIRM This highly regarded projects practice is particularly well known for its strength in renewable energy and clean technology work, handling many of the biggest projects in the sector. The team continues to assist in the development and financing of a variety of projects including wind, solar, biomass and hydropower, on behalf of an enviable roster of clients featuring the likes of Clean Path Ventures, SunRun and Own Energy. Sources are particularly quick to highlight the group's prominence in the solar area, and a recent example of its success was its representation of Agile Solar Holdings in relation to a 150 MW solar project.

Sources say: "A very good firm. The attorneys are very client-focused, highly practical and deal-oriented."

KEY INDIVIDUALS The "truly exceptional" Todd Glass continues to offer a high level of skill in a range of renewable and alternative energy matters. Commentators attest to his active practice over the past year, which has included assisting with the development and financing of several solar projects including on behalf of Clean Path Ventures, TUUSSO Energy and North Star Solar.

Peter Mostow's expertise covers the full range of energy and cleantech matters, and he has been retained by Foundation WindPower in connection with its efforts to facilitate multiple wind projects. Clients say he is "outstanding in all regards, knowledgeable, creative, fair-minded and hard-working." 

"Great talent" Christopher Groobey makes his way up the projects table this year after receiving very strong feedback from clients and peers alike. He maintains a national practice advising energy and clean technology clients in project finance and M&A transactions. He recently advised Union Bank in connection with the financing of over 20 landfill gas facilities across the USA.

Securities - Nationwide

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Antitrust - New York

THE FIRM Wilson Sonsini's New York antitrust practice is gaining traction as a strong presence in the market. The firm concentrates largely on antitrust litigation and investigations, but is also recognized for its handling of merger-related work. Among its blue-chip clients is Google, which it represents in several matters including an FTC investigation relating to the search and advertising aspects of its business.

Sources say: "I really love their work. They are fantastic, responsive and easy to work with."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Jonathan Jacobson is a "brilliant antitrust lawyer" who combines "insightful and practical advice" with "great litigation skills," say sources. He is heavily involved in the firm's representation of Google.

Charles Biggio practices in antitrust and trade regulation matters. Recently he has provided advice to Micron in relation to the $2.5 billion acquisition of Elpida Memory.

Technology - Texas

THE FIRM This firm is deeply entrenched in the technology sector, and has a long-standing reputation as a leader in the venture capital field. Its lawyers are recognized for their ability to provide expert advice at all stages of a company's development, and advise both emerging names and high-profile international corporations. Sources praise the volume of high-value matters within the practice's impressive caseload. Clients are drawn from a variety of industries and include Active Power, RealPage and National Instruments.

Sources say: "A number-one firm, with a tremendous reputation in the smaller growth company space."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Brian Beard is widely held to be a leading expert in the technology arena, and has valuable knowledge of the life cycle of emerging growth companies. His experience includes a broad range of M&A matters and public offerings.

Paul Tobias is a well-known name regarded as an "exceptional lawyer." He assists a number of growth companies seeking to raise funds via private and public offerings, and also acts on behalf of venture capital investors.

Robert Suffoletta has established a strong reputation in the corporate and securities field, and works with various technology companies and venture capital funds. He has impressive expertise in M&A transactions, and is a knowledgeable adviser on public offerings and corporate governance matters.

Corporate/Commercial - Washington

THE FIRM This firm is admired for its representation of clients from the IT, life sciences and venture capital industries. The firm has a preeminent reputation in particular for managing the requirements of early-stage and startup companies, and has recognized expertise in matters related to state and federal securities laws. Clients include Bungie, Photobucket and Fusion-IO.

Sources say: "While they are certainly hyper-technical, they are also known for providing solid, pragmatic guidance."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Patrick Schultheis is described by sources as "one of the leading emerging company lawyers in this area.” As well as acting for startups, he tackles a wide range range of corporate matters for large public companies, underwriters and venture capital investors.

Craig Sherman is known by sources to be "super-knowledgeable about industry norms and legal advice." He concentrates his practice on corporate and securities laws, with an emphasis on M&A, joint ventures and public offerings.

Intellectual Property - Washington

THE FIRM The lawyers at the Seattle office of this nationally renowned firm have broad knowledge of all aspects of IP law, particularly trademarks, patents, litigation, and retail and consumer protection. The team is particularly known for advising major clients from the life sciences, technology and media industries. Recent highlights include acting for Amazon.com on a range of IP and trademark issues.

Sources say: "Excellent - on time, on budget and very responsive."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Practice head Aaron Hendelman is an expert in a wide variety of IP and transactional matters, including those relating to unfair competition, trademarks, rights and licenses. Clients praise his business sense, practicality and responsiveness, with one stating: "He's prompt, thorough and intuitive. He understands not only what the question is, but what the issue is."